GDC regulations state that, for a dentist to refer to themselves as a specialist in any particular discipline, it is necessary to be registered on one of the GDC Specialist lists.
The traditional route for GDC specialist list applications is via completion of the three-year specialist training programme and associated exams. This results in the grant of the Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training (CCST) and registration onto the list.
There are numerous postgraduate courses both in the UK and internationally that can be deemed as equivalent to the training received on the Specialist training programme.
Furthermore, research and teaching work can also be recognised when assessing whether a dentist has completed the equivalent of the required specialist training.